I am sadly going to miss this exhibit. Part of the surrounding enticement is due to the too-early death of the designer, making the garments on display like relics of his life.
Because I can't be there, I was so thrilled to find that the MET had put together this site with images, videos, a guide through each themed room, and beautiful photographs.
The best thing short of going myself. It is rare to find so much information shared surrounding an exhibit, ("you have to visit if you want to see...!") But in this case the digital element makes a really great complement (I imagine) to the actual visit. It is, however, clear from the videos and images that the richness of the spaces and textures and garments themselves just aren't done justice via digital reproductions.
But about the exhibit: I have admired Alexander McQueen (a fellow Lee) for seemingly forever. But I was never in the McQueen fan club. I also took his collections for granted. I don't think I really ever looked at his collections in the big picture sense. I saw the spectacle and appreciated his theatrics- saying that he was doing things differently. An industry that has so many codes of conduct and 'how tos' needs people who break some of those rules- boldly; no toe-dipping in the water.
The themes of nature, the future, his heritage, mysticism, goth, and current social climates are manifest in his collections. The literal interpretations might be considered costume-y if it weren't for the refined color palette, and masterful and tasteful couture approach. His design hand is was so refined; maybe as result of the time he spent learning the skills of tailoring on Saville Row.
Lastly, I have only recently awakened in myself an interest in and love for the idea of the future. While I have lived most of my life lamenting the past, dreaming of living in an America of pre-western expansion: "Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam" kind of nostalgia. This has revealed itself as a limiting mindset, where little can be expanded upon without getting into modern territory. And those same sources of inspiration I have seen exploding as trends all up and down the apparel market. Which puts into question every sense of identity and purpose. It is an emotional thing, creating.
And that is exactly what McQueen used to his advantage. For people who can't escape the power of strong emotions- emotions that can sometimes feel debilitating- to be able to channel them, and fabricate them, is one way of learning to control them- or at least make them work for you.
And so I'll live vicariously through everyone who gets to go see and visit the exhibit this closing weekend or who has visited it over the past months.
enjoy and appreciate
And for those of you like me who can't visit: here is a preview of the beautiful images the website shares